BHUBANESWAR : In a major relief to those travelling to African countries, AIIMS Bhubaneswar has become the first institute in Odisha to give vaccine against yellow fever. Dr Vikash Bhatia, who is the nodal officer for the vaccine, said it would help travellers from Odisha who had to earlier go to Kolkata or Delhi to get the mandatory vaccine before travelling to the endemic countries.The institute is giving the vaccine at the designated centre on every Monday by charging Rs 300. In Indian Journal of Community and Family Medicine launched by AIIMS recently, Bhatia highlights that more yellow fever vaccination centres are required in India with at least one centre in every state to provide hassle free services. "Due to increase in international travel, more people in India requires Yellow Fever vaccination and the demand will continue to increase. People from states without the vaccination centres have to travel a long distance which may go up to hundreds of Kilometres or at times," he wrote. Validity of Yellow Fever vaccine starts from the 10th day of receiving the vaccine and lasts for 10 years from the day of vaccination. Hence persons from non-endemic areas need a booster every 10 years. Passengers travelling to YF endemic countries are advised to take vaccination 10 days before arrival in those countries, he wrote in the editorial. Yellow fever is endemic in rural areas of West Africa & South America and has never been reported in India. Fatality rate is very high and there is no cure for Yellow Fever. Prevention through vaccination is the only available option to decrease deaths. In India, there are only 27 locations in 10 states and 2 Union territories which have the facility to vaccinate for yellow fever, Bhatia said.
Comment: This is a welcome initiative by the Govt of Odisha. I would love to have some feedback by anyone who has taken the vaccine at this (or any other government) center.